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Self rescue in offshore conditions

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Created by AUS126 22 days ago, 15 Jun 2020
AUS126
NSW, 139 posts
15 Jun 2020 9:04AM
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My local area has a great wave on a reef in slightly offshore conditions. The problem is if something goes wrong on a kite you can be up the ****. I recently had to tow someone in to the nearest downwind beach at least 3 kilometres away. It was very difficult when his kite was full of water and in very gusty and marginal offshore conditions.
A rescuer in perfect conditions, could possibly hook inflated kite to their harness leash, and sail it upwind to rocks, while the stranded kiter paddles their board in. There are issues with this technique and a safer, more fool proof system is to wrap up kite as shown below and paddle in.
The trick is to do a neat job wrapping kite up, making sure it's not full of water. Also carry a couple of short lengths of rope with you.
Deflate leading edge but leave struts inflated.
Leave lines attached but wrap lines up properly, then throw bar on top of kite.
Throw wing tip in, then start rolling kite from outer stut to centre one TIGHTLY.
Tie two struts together, then do the same thing from the other wing tip.
Lash the bundle to the top of your board.
Start paddling.
I've tried it below, and it seems easier to paddle than board alone. Especially if you just have a twin tip. It also give you a little bit of protection from the marine life.

billygreen
43 posts
15 Jun 2020 9:00AM
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AUS126 said..
My local area has a great wave on a reef in slightly offshore conditions. The problem is if something goes wrong on a kite you can be up the ****. I recently had to tow someone in to the nearest downwind beach at least 3 kilometres away. It was very difficult when his kite was full of water and in very gusty and marginal offshore conditions.
A rescuer in perfect conditions, could possibly hook inflated kite to their harness leash, and sail it upwind to rocks, while the stranded kiter paddles their board in. There are issues with this technique and a safer, more fool proof system is to wrap up kite as shown below and paddle in.
The trick is to do a neat job wrapping kite up, making sure it's not full of water. Also carry a couple of short lengths of rope with you.
Deflate leading edge but leave struts inflated.
Leave lines attached but wrap lines up properly, then throw bar on top of kite.
Throw wing tip in, then start rolling kite from outer stut to centre one TIGHTLY.
Tie two struts together, then do the same thing from the other wing tip.
Lash the bundle to the top of your board.
Start paddling.
I've tried it below, and it seems easier to paddle than board alone. Especially if you just have a twin tip. It also give you a little bit of protection from the marine life.



did you do that in your pool or in the 3km offshore scenario?

Always thought about this option as being pretty good but unsure about how it would work in practical terms? Ie how easy is it to roll everything up with no water inside in the stress of the situation? also what do you do if you get water inside the leading edge bladder?

billygreen
43 posts
15 Jun 2020 9:00AM
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AUS126 said..
My local area has a great wave on a reef in slightly offshore conditions. The problem is if something goes wrong on a kite you can be up the ****. I recently had to tow someone in to the nearest downwind beach at least 3 kilometres away. It was very difficult when his kite was full of water and in very gusty and marginal offshore conditions.
A rescuer in perfect conditions, could possibly hook inflated kite to their harness leash, and sail it upwind to rocks, while the stranded kiter paddles their board in. There are issues with this technique and a safer, more fool proof system is to wrap up kite as shown below and paddle in.
The trick is to do a neat job wrapping kite up, making sure it's not full of water. Also carry a couple of short lengths of rope with you.
Deflate leading edge but leave struts inflated.
Leave lines attached but wrap lines up properly, then throw bar on top of kite.
Throw wing tip in, then start rolling kite from outer stut to centre one TIGHTLY.
Tie two struts together, then do the same thing from the other wing tip.
Lash the bundle to the top of your board.
Start paddling.
I've tried it below, and it seems easier to paddle than board alone. Especially if you just have a twin tip. It also give you a little bit of protection from the marine life.



did you do that in your pool or in the 3km offshore scenario?

Always thought about this option as being pretty good but unsure about how it would work in practical terms? Ie how easy is it to roll everything up with no water inside in the stress of the situation? also what do you do if you get water inside the leading edge bladder?

snalberski
WA, 708 posts
15 Jun 2020 9:33AM
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It could be suggested that someone going 3km offshore in offshore wind deserves to drown

AUS126
NSW, 139 posts
15 Jun 2020 12:09PM
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Billygreen. I appreciate it would be a lot harder in the real world. Just trying to stress that packing tight with minimal water inside is important. Good point about water in the bladder. It's probably a good idea to close valve when finished packing down.
Snalbershki. Your in for a 800m paddle upwind. Some of us are drawn to these special places, so have to think it through if someting goes wrong.

Gorgo
VIC, 4397 posts
15 Jun 2020 12:29PM
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What do you mean "full of water"? What was wrong with the kite? Had the bladder burst?

Slightly offshore? Normal self rescue will go at 90 degrees to the wind, at least 45 degrees with a semi-inflated kite or without a board to use as a keel.

I've done about 30 self rescues over the years (more since foiling in light winds). There are ways to do it with a semi-inflated kite, and with/without a board. It's all part of the problem solving needed to kite safely in general and/or in extreme conditions.

Yes, consider pack down if that suits your situation. I've never had that happen, and I've had my fair share of malfunctions to deal with.

One thing is to consider kites disposable. If I was in the poo in dodgey conditions I would happily discard my kite if it was pulling me away from safety.

If you want to regularly ride offshore sites, think about wing foiling. Those who have got good at it say the real attraction is you can go out in sketchy places.

bolgo
WA, 848 posts
15 Jun 2020 11:09AM
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Gnaraloo lends to that scenario, good reefy
slightly off shore , seen plenty of kites disappear into the yonder

early on in my kite career did the roll up thingy you photoed and paddled down to fence lines

another time did get water in the bladder due to a few rinsings after deflating LE bladder to roll up. lines a mess and relaunch not feasible, stuck in no mans land down the end of the wave.
lucky a mate dragged me in.....

I m prepared to lose my kit if need be. cheese grater and the bombie not experiences I would look forward to

stay safe

billygreen
43 posts
15 Jun 2020 11:55AM
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snalberski said..
It could be suggested that someone going 3km offshore in offshore wind deserves to drown


whats your deal? have you only ever short tacked close to the beach on a TT?

Plummet
4722 posts
15 Jun 2020 2:44PM
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Depends on what you value more. Your gear or your life. Ditch the gear and swim in to the closest point of land.

Spending 5-10mins flagging and wrapping I up ya gear while you drift out to sea seems foolhardy.

You roll the dice when you hunt cross off surf breaks. Save yourself first, worry about your gear second. Don't put someone else at risk to save your gear.

Side note. You can track broad reach self rescuing with an inflated lei holding the wing tips.

Sandyknickerz
3 posts
15 Jun 2020 7:51PM
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I'd consider loosing the kite only as absolute last resort in desperate situation, as a drifting kite and trailing lines would be a serious hazard to navigation for ships /boats... possibly for quite some time and distance. Besides being environmentally unfriendly and not a good look for the kiting community. Also, Please remember to alert police /marine authorities if you ever do this, to avoid unnecessary searches!

Trant
NSW, 601 posts
16 Jun 2020 3:15PM
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The time it would take to do packdown like that, you'd be much further offshore.
I agree with Gorgo, it's much better to use the kite as a sail and you should still be able to 'tack' upwind in slight offshore conditions.

I've self rescued more than a few times, I consider the board more of a liability than the kite and I've ditched it a couple of times. (thankfully it washed up on shore eventually)

I do remember a case in the US where a kiteboarder died because he stuck with his kite in offshore conditions for too long, and then ditched it when he was too far out and he drowned trying to swim in. I think the temperature of the water was a major contributing factor, but basically the moral was ditch the kite early, or don't ditch it at all. If you're packing it up for too long, you're going to end up miles offshore. If you are miles offshore, rescuers will be looking for the easily seen kite, not you.

AUS126
NSW, 139 posts
16 Jun 2020 6:44PM
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All valid comments. I'm not trying to reinvent self rescue. Just trying to address the scenario where the wind is so offshore that there is no land to head for below 90 degrees to the wind. You want to have very good water skills to be out in these conditions. One of these skills is of course good quick judgement when things go pear shaped.

Peahi
VIC, 1239 posts
16 Jun 2020 9:32PM
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It's good that you consider the consequences well before heading out



Select to expand quote
Plummet said..
Depends on what you value more. Your gear or your life. Ditch the gear and swim in to the closest point of land.




why would you ditch your board? unless you twintip in surf and use a hook harness which you probably still need to take off as it weighs you down

Plummet
4722 posts
17 Jun 2020 2:23AM
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Peahi said..
It's good that you consider the consequences well before heading out




Plummet said..
Depends on what you value more. Your gear or your life. Ditch the gear and swim in to the closest point of land.





why would you ditch your board? unless you twintip in surf and use a hook harness which you probably still need to take off as it weighs you down


Let me rephrase. Ditch any gear that is going to hinder you getting to land. If you have a sb with floatation then use it. If you can quickly self rescue holding the kite then do it. But if you are going to spend precious time trying to save gear rather than yourself that is foolish.

dafish
NSW, 1464 posts
17 Jun 2020 8:17AM
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Years ago a few of us were out on a sizable day and it was cross shore and really good. An hour into the session the wind turned offshore and dropped. I was the furthest out trying to get back up wind to the take off zone. I turned and saw all the kites drop out of the sky. I knew that THIS is when a packdown is necessary. It didn't take but a few minutes to package it up wrapped in my harness and then began the paddle in. By now the surf was packed as the lineup filled up quickly in the offshore conditions. The hardest part was getting off the reef with all my gear. I got in before most of the others despite being the furthest out. One guy was rescued by the navy, which was almost funny as he is a very accomplished navy pilot. (He copped **** from just about everyone for panicking. He didn't pack down because he didn't want to get hammered in the the impact zone.) Moral of the story, as been mentioned, know your situation, and what can happen if the weather changes. Make your decision about rescue quickly, then act. Most people who kite never ever have to do something like this. But everyone SHOULD know how to do it.

wishy
WA, 1459 posts
17 Jun 2020 6:56AM
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Some guys are saying you can self rescue at 90 degrees to wind, in your dreams. In cross off once you get close to shore you'd be lucky to get 45, unless it's a flat desert with no interruption to wind on shoreline.

2stubborn2quit
WA, 164 posts
22 Jun 2020 9:50PM
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Try this for cross offshore conditions....
Kite with a mate or two. Bring along a sup and leave it on the roof rack. If one of of the party gets in trouble your mates come in get the sup and save your arse. Then you buy everyone beers.
But...
Don't go a long distance out.
Don't kite in offshore conditions without support. Otherwise you could quickly understand the meaning of natural selection.

MrFreeze
263 posts
27 Jun 2020 5:58AM
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billygreen said..


snalberski said..
It could be suggested that someone going 3km offshore in offshore wind deserves to drown




whats your deal? have you only ever short tacked close to the beach on a TT?



Hmmmmm, in my travels tracking down the chosen one I came across Berski and I can tell you he's anything but a grass cutter.

You don't have Berski in your nick for no reason.

Berski.... Go berserk. Get where I'm going?



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"Self rescue in offshore conditions" started by AUS126